Thomas Sowell wrote in one of my favorite styles in his article, the style of Random Thoughts on a passing scene, February 11th 2014 – here is some highlights of that recent article:
- I am so old that I can remember when sex was private. “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” applied to everybody.
- It is fascinating to see academics full of indignation over the “exploitation” of low-wage workers by multinational corporations in Third World countries, when it is common on their own academic campuses to have young men get paid nothing at all for risking their health, and sometimes their lives, playing football that brings in millions of dollars to the college and often get coaches paid higher salaries than the president of the college or university.
- If you think human beings are always rational, it becomes impossible to explain at least half of history.
- The ancient Greeks understood that carrying any principle to extremes was dangerous. Yet, thousands of years later, some Western nations take tolerance to the extreme of tolerating intolerance among immigrants to their own societies. Some even make it illegal – a “hate crime” – to warn against intolerant foreigners who would like nothing better than to slit the throats of their hosts, but who will settle for planting a few bombs here and there.
- How do the clever Beltway Republicans and their consultants explain how Ronald Reagan won two consecutive landslide election victories, doing the opposite of what they say is the only way for Republicans to win elections?
- With his decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional, Chief Justice John Roberts turned what F.A. Hayek called “The Road to Serfdom” into a super highway. The government all but owns us now, and can order us to do pretty much whatever it wants us to do.
- Anyone who wants to read one book that will explain the international crises of our time should read “The Gathering Storm” by Winston Churchill. It is not about the Middle East or even about today. It is about the fatuous and irresponsible foreign policies of the 1930s that led to the most catastrophic war in human history. But you can recognize the same fecklessness today.
- In a time of widespread disillusionment with both political parties, someone has noted that the only thing these parties say that is believed by the public are their accusations against each other.
- Once, when I was teaching at an institution that bent over backward for foreign students, I was asked in class one day: “What is your policy toward foreign students?” My reply was: “To me, all students are the same. I treat them all the same and hold them all to the same standards.” The next semester there was an organized boycott of my classes by foreign students. When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.
And so it goes and reinforces what George Santayana wrote:
Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.
Mark Twain slyly replied:
History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.